If you have a domain that has been forwarded to another website, you may want to track the traffic that is being directed to that website using Google Analytics. Here are the steps to track a forwarded domain in Google Analytics:
Create a new Google Analytics property: Log in to your Google Analytics account and create a new property for the website that the domain is being forwarded to. You can do this by clicking on the "Admin" tab and then selecting "Create Property" from the drop-down menu.
Set up a new view: Once you have created a new property, set up a new view for the forwarded domain. To do this, click on the "Admin" tab and select "Create View" from the drop-down menu. Name the view appropriately, and select the appropriate time zone and currency.
Add a filter: Next, you will need to add a filter to the new view to track the forwarded domain. Click on the "Filters" tab and then click on the "Add Filter" button. Choose "Custom" from the filter type options, and then select "Include" from the filter field options.
Set up the filter: In the filter pattern field, enter the domain name that is being forwarded. For example, if your domain is "example.com" and it is being forwarded to "newdomain.com," you would enter "example.com" in the filter pattern field. Then, in the "Filter Field" drop-down menu, select "Hostname." Click on "Save" to create the filter.
Verify the filter: To make sure that the filter is working correctly, test it by visiting the forwarded domain and checking to see if the traffic is being tracked in Google Analytics. You can do this by going to the "Real-Time" section of Google Analytics and checking to see if your visit is being recorded.
Once you have completed these steps, you should be able to track the traffic that is being directed to the forwarded domain using Google Analytics. Note that it may take up to 24 hours for the data to appear in your reports.
Why Should You Forward Domains in Google Analytics
In Google Analytics, forwarding a domain means redirecting traffic from one domain to another. This can be useful for a variety of reasons, including:
Consolidating multiple domains: If you have multiple domains that are related to your business, you may want to consolidate them into a single domain to simplify your online presence. Forwarding the old domains to the new domain can help ensure that visitors can still find your site using the old URLs, while also consolidating your analytics data into a single view.
Rebranding or renaming your business: If you have changed the name or branding of your business, you may want to forward the old domain to the new domain to ensure that visitors can still find your site using the old URLs. This can also help preserve any SEO value that the old domain may have built up over time.
Updating your website structure: If you have changed the structure of your website or moved content to new URLs, you may want to forward the old URLs to the new ones to ensure that visitors can still find the content they are looking for. This can also help ensure that any links to the old URLs continue to work and don't result in 404 errors.
By forwarding a domain in Google Analytics, you can ensure that visitors can still find your site using old URLs, while also consolidating your analytics data into a single view. This can help simplify your online presence and improve your website's SEO and user experience.
Do Forwarded Domains Show as Referrals in Google Analytics?
When a domain is forwarded to another website or a landing page, the referral information is passed along to the new website in the form of the original domain name. This means that if someone clicks on a link from the original domain and is redirected to the new website, the new website will see the original domain as the referral source in Google Analytics.
For example, if you have a domain called "example.com" that is forwarded to "newdomain.com," and someone clicks on a link to "example.com" and is redirected to "newdomain.com," Google Analytics will record "example.com" as the referral source for the visit to "newdomain.com." It is important to make sure the redirect is set to the correct destination URL.
However, it is possible to set up tracking to ensure that the correct referral source is recorded in Google Analytics. You can use UTM parameters to track the referral source of a forwarded domain. UTM parameters are tags that you can add to your URLs to help Google Analytics track the source, medium, and campaign name for a visit.
To set up UTM parameters for a forwarded domain, you can use the Google Analytics URL Builder tool to create a unique URL for each link that you want to track. This will allow you to track the source, medium, and campaign name for each visit to the new website, regardless of whether the visitor came from a forwarded domain or another source.
In summary, forwarded domains will typically show up as referrals in Google Analytics, but you can use UTM parameters to track the correct referral source if needed.
Using a Tagged URL for Tracking Vanity URLs
Tagged URLs can be a useful way to track the effectiveness of vanity URLs, which are custom URLs that are often used in marketing campaigns to promote a product or service. By using tagged URLs, you can track the number of clicks and conversions that are generated by each vanity URL, and use this data to optimize your marketing campaigns and improve your ROI.
Here are the steps for using tagged URLs to track vanity URLs in Google Analytics:
Create a UTM code: A UTM code is a set of parameters that you can add to the end of a URL to track the source, medium, and campaign of a visit. To create a UTM code, you can use Google's URL Builder tool, which allows you to enter the details of your campaign and generate a unique URL with the UTM parameters included.
Shorten the URL: Once you have generated a UTM code, you can use a URL shortener such as Bitly or Ow.ly to create a short, easy-to-remember vanity URL. This will make it easier for people to remember and share your URL, while still allowing you to track clicks and conversions using the UTM code.
Test the URL: Before you start using your vanity URL in marketing campaigns, be sure to test it to make sure that it works correctly and that the UTM parameters are being tracked in Google Analytics.
Monitor the results: Once your vanity URL is live, you can use Google Analytics to monitor the results and track the number of clicks and conversions that it generates. You can view this data in the "Campaigns" report in Google Analytics, which will show you the number of sessions, pageviews, and conversions that were generated by each UTM code.
By using tagged URLs to track vanity URLs, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and optimize your strategies for maximum ROI.